30. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Graphic Novel

Channel Zero: The Complete Collection by Brian Wood, 295 pages, read by Courtney, on 01/26/2013

Channel Zero is a very early work by Brian Wood (of DMZ fame). How I managed to read two books in a row regarding pirate media (I just read Cory Doctorow’s excellent “Pirate Cinema”) is beyond me, but I regret nothing. This graphic novel was written in the ’90’s, but still feels fresh and relevant today. Perhaps even more so. In the world of Channel Zero, the US has passed “The Clean Bill”, which restricts all media to that which is deemed “appropriate” by the US government. Everything is censored and filtered through approved outlets, which means that the American public is not only denied perspective, they are denied their first amendment rights. Jennie 2.5 is pissed off. She’s mad enough to commandeer the equipment and security necessary to interrupt state-sponsored broadcasts with her own incendiary pirate broadcasts. She quickly becomes a cult hero to the people and the state’s biggest enemy.
Stylistically, this is one of the more original graphic novels I’ve come across. The solid black and white makes for a jarring and stark narrative. Jennie’s story is interspersed with government propaganda and bios of her successors. The story is not entirely linear, but it works in this context. It also makes me want to go finish reading the rest of DMZ. I swear Brian Wood might just be a touch psychic and I feel as though I ought to be prepared.

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